Physical structure of small Wolf-Rayet ring nebulae

You Hua Chu, Kerstin Weis, Donald R. Garnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We have selected the seven most well-defined Wolf-Rayet (WR) ring nebulae in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Br 2, 10, 13, 40a, 48, 52, and 100, to study their physical nature and evolutionary stages. New CCD imaging and echelle observations have been obtained for five of these nebulae; previous photographic imaging and echelle observations are available for the remaining two nebulae. Using the nebular dynamics and abundances, we find that the Br 13 nebula is a circumstellar bubble, and that the Br 2 nebula may represent a circumstellar bubble merging with a fossil main-sequence interstellar bubble. The nebulae around Br 10, 52, and 100 all show influence of the ambient interstellar medium. Their regular expansion patterns suggest that they still contain significant amounts of circumstellar material. Their nebular abundances would be extremely interesting, as their central stars are WC5 and WN3-WN4 stars whose nebular abundances have not been derived previously. Intriguing and tantalizing implications are btained from comparisons of the LMC WR ring nebulae with ring nebulae around Galactic WR stars, Galactic LBVs, LMC LBVs, and LMC BSGs; however, these implications may be limited by small-number statistics. A SNR candidate close to Br 2 is diagnosed by its large expansion velocity and nonthermal radio emission. There is no indication that Br 2's ring nebula interacts dynamically with this SNR candidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1440
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume117
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1999

Keywords

  • ISM: Bubbles
  • ISM: Kinematics and dynamics
  • Magellanic clouds
  • Stars: Mass loss
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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